Friday, February 22, 2013

2012 Photo Awards

Audubon Magazine's top 100 bird photos from 2012, a wonderful variety of images.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Soldiers Point

Pacific Golden Plover
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Little Tern
Red-necked Stint

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kitchener, NSW

Grey-crowned Babbler, originally uploaded by marj k.
I stopped at Poppethead Park in Kitchener on the way home to let Dusty stretch her legs. As it turned out it was very hot, with dry winds, so she took herself for a swim in the old mine dam. While she swam backwards and forwards across the dam, believing she was catching up with the ducks, I watched the Grey-crowned Babblers

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lake Glenbawn

A group of Superb Fairywrens were twittering around one on the submerged shrubs when one just dropped out, as though expecting to land on the ground. He ended up in eight inches of water, much to his surprise  He swam to shore doing a fair Australian Crawl with spread wings.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lake Glenbawn: Ski Beach

There were Great Crested Grebes visible near the shore around most of the lake, but in a sheltered corner near Ski Beach four pairs were nesting in the submerged shrubs close to the bank.

Three pairs of birds had already laid eggs, with one bird sitting on the nest and the other floating nearby, adding to the nest, chasing away coots or just keeping an eye of things. A fourth pair had just started nest building at some distance from the others.

Next day their nest had been destroyed and they were building another, still some way from the established pairs but in the other direction. They were attempting to take sticks from the other nests so there was quite a bit of agitated chasing.

Next time I visited one of the eight birds was missing. I watched for around two hours while the eggs lay exposed in the nest an one bird circled in the water nearby. It did sit on the eggs for a few minutes at a time, but spent most of the time beside it.

Then after a couple of hours an eighth bird turned up. There was a brief "courtship"exchange and one of them climbed onto the nest and the other took up watch. Order had been restored.

I'm planning a return visit. I'd love better photos of grebes carrying babies on their backs that I have managed in the past.

Lake Glenbawn: Apple Tree Flat

Lake Glenbawn is nestled in the shadows of the Barrington Tops, just off the New England Highway via Aberdeen or Scone. It was formed in the late fifties by damming the Hunter River with a wall of rock and earth fill which looks inadequate for the job. It is popular with water skiers and fisherpeople at weekends, but mid week we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

On the lake were Pacific Black, Maned and Hardhead Ducks, Dusky Moorhens and Australian Coots, Australian Grebes and Great Crested Grebe and assorted Cormorants. On shore were Eastern Rosellas, Red-rumped Parrots, King Parrots, several varieties of Thornbill, Bronzewings, and all the usual suspects. All of these photos were taken without moving from my campsite.

Noisy Miner
Red-rumped Parrot
Eastern Rosella